How to Make a Parol Lantern With Skewer Sticks

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A traditional Filipino Christmas decoration is a five-pointed star called a parol lantern. An original parol lantern is made of very thin strips of bamboo to create the frame. The frame is covered with colored cellophane or rice paper. The two bottom points of the star have long flowing tails to represent the rays of the sun. The parol lantern is a symbolic representation of the star of Bethlehem. Make your own parol lantern using skewer sticks covered with tissue paper.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-inch wooden skewers (10)
  • 3-inch pieces of wooden skewers (20)
  • 14-inch square of wax paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • 10-inch pieces of 10- to 14-gauge wire (2)
  • White glue
  • 18-inch squares of tissue paper (4)
  • Scissors
  • Large-eyed needle
  • pieces of yarn 12 inches long (2)

Position five wooden skewer sticks on a flat work surface to form a five-pointed star. Glue the points and the overlapped areas of skewers together with a dot of hot glue. Allow the glue to dry for three minutes.

Center and place a square of 14-inch wax paper over the glued five-point star. Create a second star directly over the first. Glue the points and the overlapped areas of the skewers together with a dot of hot glue. Allow the glue to dry for three minutes.

Remove the top star and the wax paper.

Position a 3-inch piece of cut wooden skewer sticks at the points and corners on the first created five-point star. Attach each skewer with hot glue so the 3-inch piece is perpendicular to the five-point star. These 10 posts will hold the second star in place to create a three-dimensional star.

Wrap one end of a 10-inch piece of 10- to 14-gauge wire around the 3-inch piece of cut wooden skewer at the top point of the star three to four times.

Position the wire so it extends toward the bottom of the star. Coil the string of 25 lights and slide the coil on the wire. Extend the plug in past the top of the star approximately 12 inches. Fold the wire back to the top point so the lights hang in the center of the star. Secure the loose end of the wire next to the wrapped end.

Squeeze a drop of hot glue on the end of each 3-inch piece of wooden skewer. Immediately position the second star on top of the first making sure to line up the points. Press into place.

Squeeze a line of hot glue along the edge of each 3-inch skewer to reinforce the joint. Note: The lights will hang in the center of the two stars.

Place an 18-inch square of tissue paper on a flat work surface. Smooth out all wrinkles. Squeeze a thin line of white glue on the top star. Immediately flip the star over, then center and place the star on the tissue paper square. Allow the glue to dry 30 minutes. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the star.

Trim the tissue paper so all edges extend approximately 3 1/8 inch past the star's frame. Make a 3-inch diagonal cut at each corner.

Squeeze a line of white glue along the edge of the skewers to the back of the star. Fold the top edge of the tissue paper to the back and secure it to the glue. Allow the glue to dry 30 minutes. Flip the star. Repeat the process around the star so a double layer of tissue paper covers the edges. Make sure to place the plug for the lights outside the star along the top 3-inch support.

Insert the end of a second piece of 10-inch 10- to 14-gauge wire through the tissue paper at the top point of the parol. Continue to push the end of the wire through the opposite side of the tissue paper to create the hanger for the parol. Twist the ends of the wire together.

Place an 18-inch square of tissue on a flat work surface so the edges are on the vertical and horizontal axis. Fold the top edge to the bottom edge. Crease along the fold line. Repeat the process with a second 18-inch square.

Cut from the bottom edge toward the folded edge creating 1-inch strips, 8 inches long. Roll the right edge toward the left edge to form a tube of strips. Repeat the process with the second folded square of tissue. The two tubes of strips are the fringe pieces that will hang from the bottom two corners of the parol lantern.

Thread a large-eyed needle with a 12-inch piece of yarn. Pull the tail of the yarn so it is approximately 10 inches long. Do not tie a knot in the end of the yarn.

Insert the needle just above the 3-inch connection piece of skewer on the bottom point of the star. Pull the needle through the tissue. Pull the two ends so to create two tails of yarn approximately 6 inches long. Repeat Steps 15 and 16 on the opposite bottom point.

Tie a bundle of strips to create the fringe from the bottom two corners of the parol lantern. Cut the excess yarn from the knots.

Tips & Warnings

  • Decorate the outside of the parol with glitter, sequins and/or tissue paper shapes.

References

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